Music exams information and checklist

There can be a lot to think about ahead of your exam, and so we have compiled a checklist to help things go smoothly on the day.

Also, make sure that you have read the syllabus carefully, and had a good look at our information and regulations. Please also ensure you check our Syllabus Errata page for corrections and clarifications.

Information & Regulations

All graded music exams, Rock & Pop, diplomas, and certificate exams

I have

  • Checked the dates and fees for exams in my country, as well as where my local exam centre is and how to book.
  • Checked that I have booked the correct subject and grade/level.
  • Notified Trinity of any special educational needs when I book (further details are on the Special Needs page), to make sure that the appropriate provisions can be made.
  • Checked all the requirements in the current syllabus and regulations, as details can change from time to time.
  • Checked whether I need an accompanist or backing tracks for my pieces, songs and exercises.
  • Checked that all my pieces are from the same syllabus, and that it’s still valid.
  • Checked that all my pieces or songs, and technical work (if applicable) have been selected according to the parameters in the syllabus (including ensuring that I am not playing or singing from simplified or shortened versions of my pieces or songs).
  • Made sure that I have original copies or downloads of my music to bring to the exam (including if you are presenting own compositions).
  • Made sure that any own composition, is of the appropriate standard for the grade/level I am taking.

In addition:

Recorder graded exams

I have

  • Checked which instruments I need to use for grades 6-8.

Guitar graded exams

I have

  • Checked the type of strings I need on my guitar, whether I need to use a plectrum, and whether I am allowed to use and amp.
  • Made sure that I am not presenting more than one piece by the same composer.

Singing graded exams

I have:

  • Checked all the requirements regarding languages and singing from memory.
  • Checked that my unaccompanied folk song is listed in the technical work section of the syllabus.

Performance Diplomas

I have

  • Got an approval letter to take to the exam if I am presenting a piece that isn’t in the syllabus.
  • Made sure that my recital meets the duration requirements.

Music certificate exams

I have

  • Checked how much own choice repertoire I am allowed to play, and that it’s of the appropriate standard.
  • Made sure that my programme meets the duration requirements.

Rock & Pop exams

I have

  • Prepared a technical focus piece
  • Checked how much own-choice or own-compositions pieces I am allowed to play, and that it’s of the appropriate standard.

For more information about Rock & Pop exams, please see the Rock & Pop pages.

Issues on the day

All exams are assessed on the basis of the performance given on the day of the exam, without regard to any external circumstances. If a candidate does not comply with exam regulations as detailed in the appropriate syllabus, the performance will be heard without prejudice by the examiner in order not to jeopardise the performance of other aspects of the exam.

The issue with the performance may be reported directly to Trinity’s London office by the examiner rather than on the candidate’s report form, so that Trinity may be able to exercise a certain amount of discretion as to the validity of the assessment process. Depending on the severity of the infringement, marks may be deducted, or, in extreme cases, the exam may be invalidated.

The outcome of referred exams will be communicated to the Trinity representative for disclosure to the candidate as soon as possible after the matter has been considered by Trinity. To ensure that all candidates are treated fairly, infringements of a similar type are always treated in the same way. Referral decisions are final and marks will not be reinstated.

Contact us

If you are still unsure of what you need to do or what to expect on the day, please contact and we will be happy to assist you.

Please note that the referral process may take up to 6 weeks to complete, depending on the complexity of the issue. The timeframe is taken from the date of receipt of the original report form at Trinity’s London office.

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